Note For Anyone Writing About Me

Guide to Writing About Me

I am an Autistic person,not a person with autism. I am also not Aspergers. The diagnosis isn't even in the DSM anymore, and yes, I agree with the consolidation of all autistic spectrum stuff under one umbrella. I have other issues with the DSM.

I don't like Autism Speaks. I'm Disabled, not differently abled, and I am an Autistic activist. Self-advocate is true, but incomplete.

Citing My Posts

MLA: Zisk, Alyssa Hillary. "Post Title." Yes, That Too. Day Month Year of post. Web. Day Month Year of retrieval.

APA: Zisk, A. H. (Year Month Day of post.) Post Title. [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

My Open Letter to Playboy

Trigger Warning: Discussions of eugenics, abuse, murder

Here it be. Feel free to comment with suggestions before I actually send it. You've probably got about a week.

To Everyone Involved at Playboy Magazine;
Since I am female, you might interpret my none-to-happy letter to mean that I am against your magazine in general. Don't. I have no moral issue with your magazine. I just take issue with you paying Jenny McCarthy to pose for you, knowing that her fee will be going to support autism research that autistics do not favor, and in fact, tend to vehemently oppose. (If someone were to negotiate the same deal, but donating their fee to the Autistic Self Advocacy Network or another autism advocacy group that actually helps autistics, I would be applauding you for making the deal. I might even write a thank-you note to you guys, publicly. Just... not for her. Not for her idea of autism research, which has much to do with eugenics, and which can arguably look like attempted genocide using the formal criteria.)
I know you'll be getting more notes like mine. Don't ignore them for being too angrily worded. That would make you just as bad as everyone else who makes arguments from tone (against people whose disabilities mess with communication, no less!) You don't get to keep hurting people just because they told you to stop in a mean way. You have to stop as soon as they tell you to stop hurting them, or as soon as you are aware that you are hurting them, whichever comes first. And we're telling you now. Giving Jenny McCarthy a fee to be donated to autism research for posing for your magazine will hurt autistics. Don't do it.
You probably want to know why I think this will hurt autistics, that or you've already dumped my letter in the garbage or closed the page. So:
  1. She's convinced that vaccines gave her son autism. Vaccine injuries exist, but that's not the same as autism, and vaccine injury is extremely rare. Her son is autistic (or possibly has a disorder commonly misdiagnosed as autism but is also NOT caused by vaccines), not vaccine injured. She wants to get people to stop vaccinating. Vaccinations are how we don't have people getting polio and smallpox, by the way. It's why we don't have mumps or measles. It's why many of the Americans of my generation will never get chicken pox. It's why the flu doesn't take as many of the young and the old as it used to. And it DOES NOT CAUSE AUTISM. Giving money to her brand of autism research is almost certainly going to include giving money to trying to find the non-existent link between vaccines and autism and scaring more parents out of vaccinating their kids. This one actually hurts all people, not just autistics. So yes, this affects you. Even if you're Ok with hurting autistics, which you shouldn't be, don't be dumb enough to hurt yourself.
  2. She wants to find a pre-natal test for autism, and then scare mothers into aborting their autistic kids before they are born. I'm actually pro-choice to the extent that I can't fight to make that illegal (I don't mess with why you can or can't abort because that's a slippery slope) but it smells formally of genocide and obviously of eugenic principles. Each individual parent who makes that decision? No, not exactly eugenics. But it happening at the societal level, perhaps at the 90% that has happened for Down's babies? That would be eugenics. Remember eugenics? That's where forced sterilizations came from. Not cool.
  3. She incites murder. She really does. Do you want to be known for giving money to someone who has incited the murder of disabled children? Going on TV and telling people about how we are tragedies and supporting treatments that don't do anything about the fact that the person is autistic but can (and do) kill the patients is inciting people to kill us.
  4. She has claimed that there are no autistic adults. Apparently that means I don't exist, nor do the writers of most of the blogs I read. Huh. They did a pretty good job at writing stuff for people who don't exist. Some of them have done pretty good jobs of standing in front of me and having conversations for people who don't exist. They've done a pretty good job of protesting Autism Speaks for people who don't exist. I'd say I've done a pretty good job accumulating passport stamps and tutoring math for someone who doesn't exist. But seriously. People don't grow out of being autistic, so that's one of the stupidest things I've ever heard. Maybe she's suggesting that our parents and caretakers kill us before we reach adulthood, which would be incitement to murder again. Maybe she is suggesting that we are never truly adults. (Not sorry. I'm an adult. I've held a job fixing computers, a job as a classroom assistant, a job as a tutor, and a job as a grader, and I've never been fired or layed off. I'm in college with three majors. I'm registered to vote. I can cook for myself. I'm pretty competent, actually, and I am over 18.) Do you want to support someone who says stupid things that piss people off? Why?
  5. She thinks we need a cure. If someone autistic told me they wanted a cure, I'd find out why. If all the reasons didn't actually have anything to do with being autistic, I'd go after society, not cure the person of who they were. And... oh, wait. My autism-related difficulties fall into two categories. The ``Oh, big whoop. I don't really care." category and the ``Uh, that's a problem with your reaction, not with my being autistic. Go away." category. I wouldn't make someone who grew up neurotypical autistic, but I wouldn't let anyone make me neurotypical either. I've heard the theory that if there hadn't been autistics floating around all along, we'd still be living in caves. I could believe it. Do you think you would have been the first to squeeze the udder of a cow and drink whatever came out? Do you think you would have been the first to stick your meat in a fire and see what happened, not knowing if it would be edible after? Do you think you would have been the first to make a fire inside a hut or a cave? I doubt it. But I might have. I'd put money on it that the first people to do those things had autistic traits if I thought there was a way to resolve that bet. So go thank an autistic, and you can start by not hurting us or trying to make sure there aren't any more of us or cure us. That is just a start, though.
So, now that I've made it quite clear that there are actual reasons that you should not support her brand of autism research, kindly follow logic and don't support her brand of autism research.
Alyssa **** (autistic triple major, researcher in self assembly, and author of Yes, That Too.)

1 comment:

  1. Bravo, Alyssa! I just wish someone would make her stop. Please. For the love of all that's holy.


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